Daniel Nenni Shows His Marketing Skill

In a piece titled "SemiWiki.com Analytics Exposed" conveniently published on LinkedIn as well as its own masthead Daniel Nenni espoused the growth of his creation and compares it to other publications. You can read it at:

The piece has many problems, but I will just address what I find most egregious.

Why Alexa?

First of all let's consider the source of the data. Alexa claims to be "The Web Information Company" but the title is self granted. I prefer Google Analytics, but of course that is a more secure site and not so generous with third party "data". I ran an experiment the last three days to confirm or refute Daniel "numbers" as far as my site was concerned. What I got was extremely variable results with over 10% error among the queries. Thus my conclusion is that Alexa gives numbers, not qualified data. After all the free results are an invitation to pay for tools and services.

Then, when comparing the numbers of Unique Visitors and Page Views for a site, one must make sure to pick sites that have the same characteristics and even more importantly the same goals. It is absolutely not true that every sites aims to get the most visitors and the most pages per visit. Although the easiest way to "sell" a site is to quote the number of visitors, what is really important is the results the site obtains in achieving its stated goals.

I understand from reliable PR professionals that this is just one of the pieces written by Daniel since it started a feud with John Cooley, obviously motivated by financial opportunities neither of them wanted to "share".

GABEonEDA, for example has never made its goal to achieve a large number of "visitors". Its goal is to reach decision makers with "the power of the purse" since there are many other sites, including SemiWiki, who cater to designers. Designers are indeed important, but CTO and CFO purchase products.

Many Types of Publications, Not a Uniform Field

SemiWiki is a marketing site developed by consultants to promote their expertise in the industry, not a publishing enterprise with editorial control like EETimes, or a gossip site like DeepChip where the truth is discovered by meticulously shifting among a plethora of anonymous contributions noted for their entertainment value.

Of the sites listed by Daniel, EDACafe comes close, although even EDACafe requires marketing professionals working for EDA vendors to identify their affiliation in the byline, something SemiWiki does not do. That SemiWiki is developing into a product in itself is an indication that a "Facebook" for EDA was needed, but says nothing about return on investment for the sponsors or the occasional vendor blog.

SemiWiki has no editorial control on the pieces published, allows anyone to publish because doing so will increase the number of visitors, and its "dozen or so" bloggers are really three or four, two of whom are quite prolific: Daniel Nenni and Paul McLellan.

But all this is not to say that SemiWiki is useless or devious. Some engineers will certainly find value in some of the pieces published, and Daniel is very open to explain to its "sponsors" that the goal is to increase visits, since the more eyes visit the more the probability that someone will purchase one of their products. And, after all, that is the promise upon which "blogging" is founded.